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Are College Entrance Exams Really Important?

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Educators who create college entrance exams are continually striving to perfect their exams and to formulate fair tests with accurate score results. While many of these exams have improved, problems still remain and some colleges are assessing whether these tests should continue to be used for application purposes – leaving students to wonder if entrance tests and exams are really all that important on their admissions applications.

The Debate Over College Entrance Exams

In the last ten years, college entrance exams have undergone major changes to deal with scoring issues, but many opponents of these exams allege that scoring results can still be easily manipulated. Some colleges in recent years have begun placing more of an emphasis on other types of criteria for admissions considerations, and others have done away with popular tests like the SAT or the ACT for admissions applications.

When College Entrance Exams Really Count

Although some schools are doing away with admissions exams, many colleges and universities still heavily rely on exam test scores to help assess new student applications. Exams for graduate schools, like the GMAT, MCAT, GRE and LSAT, are still extremely important on graduate school applications – and any new applicants must take these tests very seriously and do everything they can to prepare and perform well.

Entrance exams for community colleges, two-year degree programs or four-year degree programs, like the SAT and the ACT, tend to count more if you are applying to an out-of-state school, a school through a scholarship program or a school which is nationally recognized for supreme academic excellence.

When College Entrance Exams May Not Matter So Much

If you are applying to an in-state college or university, the scores on your SATs or ACTs may not count quite as much. Colleges or universities will state too on their admissions criteria if they are looking for high SAT or ACT scores, and schools will also state if they do not accept scores for these tests as a part of their admissions applications process.

The Bottom Line on College Entrance Exams

The bottom line on the importance of college entrance exams: always check the colleges or universities you are interested in applying to for their admissions policies. Begin researching whether or not you need stellar SAT or ACT scores at least one to two years before you even begin applying to colleges; then, you can start preparing for these tests if necessary. Keep in mind too that while colleges may use exam scores as a part of their admissions criteria, it is still important to create a well rounded application which will include more than just test scores.

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